Last updated: 15 March 2024

Next review: 15 March 2025

If you live alone and feel vulnerable, you may want to consider getting a community alarm installed. It means you can call for help if you have a fall or become ill.

Community alarm only

This alarm is a telephone unit that's linked to a special pendant and can be worn around your neck or as a wristband. When you press the red button, it connects 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to a control centre.

We use Newham Network Telecare Services to monitor all alarm activations. If there’s an emergency, you’ll get help quickly.

The operators can contact relatives, friends or neighbours as requested, and if necessary, the emergency services.


To receive the service you need to meet one or more of the following:

  • live alone
  • be housebound
  • be home alone on a regular basis when relatives or other carers are out
  • feel vulnerable at home even though you may be able to get out and about
  • be a carer of a disabled child or adult who needs the control centre to call for help in an emergency
  • have a need to contact a doctor or someone else in an emergency.


It costs £3.30 per week, which includes the monitoring and response service.

You’ll be charged on a quarterly basis, whether or not you’re at home. You can also pay monthly by standing order.

Charges may vary subject to annual review.

Installing the alarm

It’s easy to install the community alarm. You must have a telephone socket and a spare 13 amp electric socket to plug the alarm into. Both sockets must be on the same wall in the same room, and within one metre of each other. Help can be given with this.

Information we need

So that we’re able to help you when you have your alarm, we’ll need:

  • some personal details
  • names, addresses and telephone numbers of people you want us to contact in an emergency, or if difficulties arise. This can be family, friends or neighbour's
  • details of two or more people living near to you, who are willing to look after your door keys and be available day or night. If you don’t have anyone to be a ‘keyholder’, then a keysafe attached to the outside of your home can be fitted. This is so access can be gained by the emergency services.

Community alarm with telecare equipment attached

If you’re worried about someone who’s vulnerable and needs more than a community alarm to remain safe and independent in their own home, we may be able to help.

Telecare uses a range of simple sensors placed around the home that raise an alarm to get help if needed. They work 24 hours a day, every day of the year and provide security and peace of mind.

The equipment includes sensors which can:

  • detect if someone has left the house at an unsafe time
  • detect if someone has not returned to bed after getting up in the middle of the night
  • give medication reminders
  • detect smoke, gas or floods
  • notify a carer in the same house if the person they care for is moving around

If an alarm is raised, the telecare operator will contact the person to check their safety and give advice and reassurance. If necessary, they’ll contact a relative, the mobile warden or the emergency services.

Keyholders will need to be available day or night, to help with access to the property.


To receive the service we’ll need to arrange a community care assessment for the person concerned to see if they’re entitled to help.


This service costs £5.50 per week, which includes the monitoring and response service.

Charges may vary subject to annual review. 

Installing the sensors

An officer from Waltham Forest Adult Social Care will make arrangements with you, your family, carer or neighbour to install the equipment.

Further information

For more information download our factsheet on community alarms and telecare services (PDF).

How to get these services

You need to fill in the community alarm application form (Word) and can get one by:

If you have problems completing the form, your next of kin, or member of our staff can help you.

You can contact us in the following ways: 

Waltham Forest Adult Social Services

Waltham Forest Adult Social Services

869 Forest Road
Walthamstow E17 4UH